Power station vigilant to terror risk

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STAFF at Hartlepool’s nuclear power station are remaining vigilant after five men were arrested at another plant on terrorism charges.

Officials at the power station say security is their highest priority and are always reviewing the measures they have in place.

Five men in their 20s from London were held after being arrested close to the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria on Monday.

Western countries are also bracing themselves for possible reprisal attacks following the killing of Osama bin Laden by American special forces.

Security arrangements at Hartlepool’s station on Tees Road is boosted by its own on-site police force provided by the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

A spokesman for the power station said: “EDF Energy places its highest priority on the safety and security of the public, its staff, buildings and installations.

“We maintain regular contact with the police and other appropriate agencies and regularly review and adjust our security procedures across our sites.

“For obvious reasons we can not discuss the detail of what security precautions we have in place.

“With respect to our nuclear sites in particular, we are in close contact with our security regulator, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS).

“They are the independent body responsible for setting the level of security on our sites and we will continue to work with them and will act upon any instructions or recommendations.

“In order to maintain the highest standards of security, we do not discuss operational details. But like all civil nuclear facilities in the UK, we have detailed security arrangements in place.”

A spokesman for the Civil Nuclear Constabulary added it constantly reviews its security plans in partnership with each site and they take national and international developments into account.

Meanwhile, power station chiefs have shut down one of their two Hartlepool reactors for a planned refuelling process.

Bosses at EDF Energy say the halting of reactor 2 at Hartlepool power station on Tuesday was a scheduled shutdown called a “refuelling outage” so that fuel rods could be exchanged and new ones put in.

The programme is carried out every few months as part of routine work at the power station.